Dwight Longenecker

About Dwight Longenecker

Fr. Dwight Longenecker is Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. A graduate of Oxford University, he is the Pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Church, in Greenville, SC, and author of twenty books, including The Romance of Religion, The Quest for the Creed, and Mystery of the Magi: The Quest to Identify the Three Wise Men. He contributes to many magazines, papers, and journals, including National Catholic Register, St Austin Review, Catholic Digest, and The Stream. His latest book, Immortal Combat: Confronting the Heart of Darkness, is published by Sophia Institute Press. Visit his blog, listen to his podcasts, join his online courses, browse his books, and be in touch at dwightlongenecker.com.

Literature, Geography, and Clarity

By |2021-04-14T14:35:00-05:00April 14th, 2021|Categories: Dwight Longenecker, Literature, Nature, Senior Contributors|

As the shadow of COVID lifts, let’s hope the thriving business of literary pilgrimages will regain its buoyancy and help us connect the stories that motivate and inspire us with the reality of today’s world. I attended the same high school in Pennsylvania as John Updike. His father bought his pants from my Dad’s clothing [...]

The Reality of the Resurrection

By |2021-04-03T17:34:25-05:00April 3rd, 2021|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Easter, Gospel Reflection, Philosophy, Timeless Essays|

Too often we Christians have given in to the temptation to sanitize the crucifixion and sentimentalize the resurrection. But the resurrection was not, at first, a cause for rejoicing, but the source of fear—soul-shaking, knee-knocking, heart-pounding, earth-quaking fear. One of the good things about Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ is the gore. He [...]

Rod Dreher and The Nostalgia Option

By |2021-01-23T19:01:56-06:00January 23rd, 2021|Categories: Books, Conservatism, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Politics, Senior Contributors|

As techno-totalitarianism really gets into gear, it is up to each one of us to root our lives, our homes, our schools, and our parishes in the eternal values of the Christian faith and classical learning—and we need to do so with imagination and realism, avoiding the temptation to become nostalgic dreamers. Live Not by [...]

The Magi and the Obstinacy of Belief

By |2021-01-05T16:22:22-06:00January 5th, 2021|Categories: Books, Christianity, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, History, Religion, Senior Contributors, Timeless Essays|

The refusal to consider the possibility that the Magi were historical figures and not mythical magicians reflects the bias of both modernists and conservative believers. For Saint Matthew’s Gospel to actually be true rocks both their boats. As the new year begins, The Imaginative Conservative looks back at some of its finest essays of the [...]

The Poetry and Particularity of Mary

By |2020-12-23T18:44:54-06:00December 24th, 2020|Categories: Christmas, Dwight Longenecker, Poetry, Senior Contributors|

At the Annunciation, in a room in Nazareth, the fresh innocence of Eve is recapitulated, but in a new configuration. This is the nature of creation: that all things general, to become real, must become particular. It should therefore not come as a surprise that God Himself should also take particular flesh from a particular [...]

Netflix’s “The Crown”: Diana, the Poor Little Princess

By |2020-12-18T16:19:05-06:00December 18th, 2020|Categories: Culture, Dwight Longenecker, England, Film, Senior Contributors|

Using dramatic license, “The Crown” features the romance between Charles, Prince of Wales, and his future queen. Though appearing to be in a sense a real-life Cinderella, Diana, Princess of Wales, is a kind of symbol of our dysfunctional modern Western society. We were living in England in 1997, when Diana, Princess of Wales, was [...]

Puddleglum, Jeremy Bentham, & the Grand Inquisitor

By |2020-11-28T06:58:11-06:00November 28th, 2020|Categories: C.S. Lewis, Dwight Longenecker, Freedom, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Happiness, Philosophy, Politics, Senior Contributors|

The aim and ambition of Jeremy Bentham was that everyone would be happy. But how is it possible for everyone to be happy? The Grand Inquisitor gives the answer: by yielding their freedom and submitting to their overlords. This is the dysfunctional and distorted psychology behind the entitlement culture and the welfare state. When on [...]

On Being a Southern Fried Catholic

By |2020-11-07T16:52:41-06:00November 7th, 2020|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Dwight Longenecker, Senior Contributors, South|

My experience of Southern Catholics is that they are like fried chicken: They may be spicy and crunchy on the outside—living from hand to mouth, building new churches and schools, and raising money for pet projects, realizing they are somewhat suspect and on the edge—but they are warm and tender on the inside. The other [...]

Repentance and Regret: The Secret of Jane Austen’s Success

By |2020-10-13T15:14:33-05:00October 17th, 2020|Categories: Character, Christianity, Dwight Longenecker, Great Books, Jane Austen, Morality, Senior Contributors|

The secret of Jane Austen’s genius is that she conceals the most serious of themes within light-hearted tales: true repentance and regret. Our own vanity and egotistical deceptions are revealed, and having been made self-aware, we stop and laugh and realize that our delight has filled us with light. Along with Granada Television’s Brideshead Revisited, [...]

The Minotaur

By |2020-10-02T13:23:55-05:00October 2nd, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Dwight Longenecker, Evil, Myth, Senior Contributors|

The ancient myth-makers knew beneath the glittering palaces of worldly power there were bullish beasts like the Minotaur lurking in the labyrinth. Likewise, beneath our surface palace there is a cavern, a cellar, a dark and bewildering labyrinth. Each of us has his own Minotaur—the fearsome blend of the man and the beast in us. [...]

The Church in an Age of Revolution

By |2020-09-12T17:52:58-05:00September 12th, 2020|Categories: Catholicism, Christianity, Dwight Longenecker, Senior Contributors, Western Civilization|

Moralistic, therapeutic deism is running on the fumes of authentic red-blooded historic Christianity. When it finally sputters to a halt, what will take its place? The Christian faith in the second half of the twenty-first century will be mystical, mythological, and miraculous, or it will be nothing at all. A graph posted by Stephen Bulllivant, [...]

“The Cross and the Lynching Tree”: Race and Religion

By |2020-08-29T10:56:38-05:00August 29th, 2020|Categories: Books, Christianity, Culture, Dwight Longenecker, Equality, Religion, Senior Contributors|

James Cone’s “The Cross and the Lynching Tree” is a passionate and excellent contribution to the discussion of race and religion from the perspective of African-American believers and should help white Christians to see the world from the viewpoint of their black brothers and sisters. The Cross and the Lynching Tree, by James Cone (224 [...]

The Pro-Life Themes of Uberto Pasolini’s “Still Life”

By |2020-08-13T15:56:45-05:00August 13th, 2020|Categories: Beauty, Community, Culture, Death, Dwight Longenecker, Film, Senior Contributors|

Uberto Pasolini’s “Still Life” is a haunting, original, and moving tribute to human worth and self-sacrificial love at the street level. It is a beautiful, quiet film that packs an emotional and philosophical punch far beyond its weight. Always on the lookout for a film that is better than the formulaic, ideologically-driven entertainment that is [...]

Beyond Good and Nietzsche

By |2020-07-18T15:44:41-05:00July 18th, 2020|Categories: Christianity, Dwight Longenecker, Friedrich Nietzsche, Great Books, Morality, Senior Contributors|

What Nietzsche calls Christianity is, in fact, a twisted form of the Judeo-Christian faith. Of course, there are people who use humility as their trump card, their piety to blackmail others, their meekness to manipulate, and their obedience to secretly dominate. Perhaps this is all the Christianity young Nietzsche saw in his Protestant pastor father’s [...]

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